verb (used with object), mag·icked, mag·ick·ing.

to create, transform, move, etc., by or as if by magic: I magicked him into a medieval knight.

Origin of magic

1350–1400; Middle English magik(e) witchcraft < Late Latin magica, Latin magicē < Greek magikḗ, noun use of feminine of magikós. See Magus, -ic
Related formsqua·si-mag·ic, adjective

Synonyms for magic

2. enchantment. Magic, necromancy, sorcery, witchcraft imply producing results through mysterious influences or unexplained powers. Magic may have glamorous and attractive connotations; the other terms suggest the harmful and sinister. Magic is an art employing some occult force of nature: A hundred years ago television would have seemed to be magic. Necromancy is an art of prediction based on alleged communication with the dead (it is called “the black art,” because Greek nekrós, dead, was confused with Latin niger, black): Necromancy led to violating graves. Sorcery, originally divination by casting lots, came to mean supernatural knowledge gained through the aid of evil spirits, and often used for evil ends: spells and charms used in sorcery. Witchcraft especially suggests a malign kind of magic, often used against innocent victims: Those accused of witchcraft were executed. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for magic

Contemporary Examples of magic

Historical Examples of magic

  • I have existed in a magic Bohemia, largely of my own making.

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • She has the fascination of great pride and the magic of manners.

  • What magic in the utterance, what a revelation of Cleopatra's character and of Shakespeare's!

  • They had not seen the snake at all, but a stick that came back to the thrower's hand was magic.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • The truth was that it was only by trusting to the magic of the white men that Patofa could get to us.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for magic



the art that, by use of spells, supposedly invokes supernatural powers to influence events; sorcery
the practice of this art
the practice of illusory tricks to entertain other people; conjuring
any mysterious or extraordinary quality or powerthe magic of springtime
like magic very quickly

adjective Also: magical

of or relating to magica magic spell
possessing or considered to possess mysterious powersa magic wand
unaccountably enchantingmagic beauty
informal wonderful; marvellous; exciting

verb -ics, -icking or -icked (tr)

to transform or produce by or as if by magic
(foll by away) to cause to disappear by or as if by magic
Derived Formsmagical, adjectivemagically, adverb

Word Origin for magic

C14: via Old French magique, from Greek magikē witchcraft, from magos magus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for magic

late 14c., "art of influencing events and producing marvels using hidden natural forces," from Old French magique "magic, magical," from Late Latin magice "sorcery, magic," from Greek magike (presumably with tekhne "art"), fem. of magikos "magical," from magos "one of the members of the learned and priestly class," from Old Persian magush, possibly from PIE *magh- (1) "to be able, to have power" (see machine). Transferred sense of "legerdemain, optical illusion, etc." is from 1811. Displaced Old English wiccecræft (see witch); also drycræft, from dry "magician," from Irish drui "priest, magician" (see druid).


late 14c., from Old French magique, from Latin magicus "magic, magical," from Greek magikos, from magike (see magic (n.)). Magic carpet first attested 1816. Magic Marker (1951) is a registered trademark (U.S.) by Speedry Products, Inc., Richmond Hill, N.Y. Magic lantern "optical instrument whereby a magnified image is thrown upon a wall or screen" is 1690s, from Modern Latin laterna magica.


1906, from magic (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper